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Friday, July 17, 2009

3 Secrets for Easier Travel

There are secrets to getting off a plane looking paparazzi-ready and feeling able to tackle your meetings -- or your "vacation" at the in-laws'. And these tips don't involve paying for first-class tickets (but if they're giving them out, don't pass 'em up!). Here's how to arrive feeling fresh and healthy:

Carry a bottle. Don't depend on overtaxed flight attendants and those mini bottles of water to get you the moisture you need to counter dry cabin air. Tuck an empty water bottle into your carry-on, and fill it up from a fountain after the security check. Sip it all flight long.

Make your carry-on multitask. Take one that you can put under the seat in front of you without taking up the whole space. In flight, rest your feet on it to help reduce foot and ankle swelling. And get up every 2 hours to reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots.

Pack snacks. Trans fats and salt aren't good for you on the ground, and they don't magically get healthier at 30,000 feet (even if you "deserve" a treat for not throttling the kid -- or the parent -- behind you). Pack your own energy-giving snacks, such as fruit (apples and raisins travel well), nuts (toasted and unsalted), celery sticks, or whole-grain crackers with sunflower-seed butter (must be already spread on the crackers).

Other items that help you stay refreshed: earplugs, comfortable socks, an extra wrap (blankets aren't always given), and a good laptop (that's how these columns often get polished) or book (dive into one and you might be able to tune out the teenage soccer team that's sharing the flight with you).


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